Arthurlie players told to 'seize the moment' and end long Junior Cup drought

Arthurlie manager Colin Reilly
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Neil)

Colin Reilly has told his Arthurlie players to seize the moment in Sunday’s “once-in-a-lifetime” Junior Cup final.

The Barrhead side head to Cumbernauld’s Broadwood Stadium for the trophy decider with Darvel.

Both teams have been members of the West of Scotland League Premier Division this season and a huge attendance is anticipated for the game which will be shown live on BBC ALBA.

The history of the occasion is not lost on ‘Lie gaffer Reilly, pictured inset top, who knows the club are playing in their first Junior Cup final since winning the silverware 26 years ago.

Back then, it was party time at Dunterlie after Southside Derby rivals Pollok were demolished 4-0 at Motherwell’s Fir Park.

Reilly wants his troops to have their very own special day in the sun – and give an expected travelling army of 2,000 fans a moment to savour.

Arthurlie's players celebrate their Junior Cup semi-final win over Johnstone Burgh
Arthurlie's players celebrate their Junior Cup semi-final win over Johnstone Burgh -Credit:Paisley Daily Express

“I’ve made it known that days like these don’t come around very often,” he told the Paisley Daily Express. “There’s only one player in the dressing room who has won the Scottish Cup.

“My goalkeeping coach Alan Prosser has been in Junior football for 40 years and not been anywhere near the cup final. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s a case of seizing the moment. It’s about preparing well, getting yourself in tip-top condition and doing your friends and family proud. That’s the message.

“I’m just privileged to be manager of Arthurlie at this time and one of the reasons why I came here was because of the rich history of the club.

“The challenge I took on coming here was could I bring silverware back to this club? Playing in the Scottish Cup final, we have that chance.

“Winning the Scottish Cup would allow us to close the season out with the biggest high you can get. You want to leave a legacy behind you and if you do that, you’ve done a good job.”

East Ayrshire outfit Darvel sacked boss Tony McInally after he guided them to their first final in 48 years with David Winters in interim charge this weekend.

Reilly won’t be distracted by the off-field goings-on at Recreation Park and knows ‘Vale will be a tough nut to crack given they knocked out Junior Cup heavyweights Auchinleck Talbot.

He added: “It’s on the park that really matters and when you look at them, they have got winners – players who have won Scottish cups multiple times. They will know what’s needed to go and win a Scottish Cup final.

“Darvel have a lot of experience, a lot of good quality and I have a lot of respect for them. I know their striker, Jordan Moore, who I did a lot of work with at Bellshill Athletic. He’s a massive threat.”

Reilly’s final words to his players will be to make themselves heroes as he reflected on the impact of the final on Barrhead.

“It’s a massive occasion and the fans will be right behind us,” he added. “This cup is the big one for them – it’s the holy grail. The town is really getting behind us.

“The bunting and the flags have gone up around the town. Thinking about the atmosphere gives me goosebumps.”

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